The new Mercedes-Benz eSprinter electric van is now on sale in the UK, with prices starting at £51,950 before VAT or on-the-road costs. However, that price doesn’t include the government’s Plug-In Van Grant (PIVG), which drops the purchase price by up to 20 percent or up to a total of £8,000, whichever is the smaller.
The electric vehicle is available in just one trim level, but it comes with a choice of two variants. Both come with much the same equipment, the same electric motor and the same 96-mile zero-emission range, but the cheaper model offers slower charging. With a DC 20 kW on-board charging system, it can be charged from 10 percent to 80 percent in two hours. The DC 80 kW version, however, will manage the same feat in 30 minutes, assuming the charging point is up to the job.
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Aside from that, though, both versions are more or less identical. Both come in Progressive guise, which is normally a mid-range trim level. That means they get a heated seat for the driver, a steering wheel adjustable for height and rake and air conditioning. In the back, there’s a wooden floor, while the rear doors open to 270 degrees. Bluetooth connectivity is standard, too, along with automatic headlights, 16-inch steel wheels and a USB port.
As is now de rigeur, the eSprinter comes with a host of driver assistance systems, including crosswind assistance, autonomous emergency braking and driver attention assistance. For the first two years, the van also comes with the Mercedes Pro Connect system, which offers theft warning alerts and geo-fencing, which prevents the vehicle leaving a prescribed area.
Furthermore, the system will also allow “real-time vehicle management”, with efficient route mapping, access to battery charge levels and estimated range to help companies plan the vehicle’s usage. The Mercedes Pro Connect system even allows the vehicle to be heated or cooled while it is still charging, rather than using the on-board air conditioning to do the job once the vehicle is underway.
Because the battery packs are stowed under the floor, Mercedes claims the eSprinter offers much the same amount of load space as its conventionally powered siblings. Each of the four battery packs is guaranteed for eight years or 99,420 miles, and each has an expected battery capacity of at least 70 percent after eight years. Each pack can also be replaced individually should it get damaged, keeping repair costs to a minimum.